The Senate has passed a financial overhaul bill which toughens the federal policing of Wall Street. The goal of the legislation is to prevent another meltdown of the U.S. economy.
The bill includes the most changes in the rules governing big banks to ever pass a congressional body since the Great Depression.
Is this financial reform measure simply another Washington takeover? Richard Vigilante, communications director of the hedgefund Whitebox Advisors and co-author of the book Panic: the Betrayal of Capitalism by Wall Street and Washington, addresses that question and more on the CBN Newschannel's Morning program. Click play for his comments, following this report.
Four Republicans crossed over to support the bill which include Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Scott Brown, R-Mass., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Susan Collins, R-Maine.
The passage of the measure marks a major victory for President Barack Obama.
"Our goal is not to punish the banks, but to protect the larger economy and the American people from the kind of upheavals that we've seen in the past few years," Obama said.
The bill calls for regulators to liquidate troubled financial institutions. It would create a Bureau of Consumer Protection to oversee credit cards and mortgages. And it would regulate hedge funds, derivatives and other complex financial products.
Lawmakers must now reconcile the Senate bill with the House version which passed in December.
Opponents, however, said the legislation goes too far.
"This is going to get into everybody's pockets," said Sen. Michael Enzi R-Wyo. "And I'm not talking about businesses, I'm talking about individuals."
Congress hopes the proposed law will bring stability to the markets. But on the same day the Senate passed the bill, the Dow plunged more than 375 points, its worst finish in over a year.